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‘Why insurers gave FG N11bn cover for 5,000 health workers against COVID-19’

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The nation’s insurance industry has tendered to the Federal Government an N11 billion cover for 5,000 frontline healthcare workers involved in caring for victims of COVID-19 across the country.

The offering to the Federal Government is the industry’s backing in the fight against COVID- 19.

The benefit is payable to the families or named beneficiary of any of the workers that die in the line of duty including medical doctors (N3 million), pharmacists/nurses (N2 million) and others (N1 million).

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The estimated liability of the insuring companies is N11 billion, and premium in the sum of N112.5 billion for the cover has been fully paid by the industry in line with the principle of ‘No Premium No Cover’.

A total of 19 life insurance companies in the industry have been accredited to provide the cover with FBNInsurance Limited as a lead underwriter, to whom all claims will be referred to.

The cover is for a period of 12 months effective 14th April 2020, the acting, commissioner for insurance, Sunday Thomas, disclosed this over the weekend in a document made available to The Guardian.

The life insurance policy document which is the evidence of the contract has been presented to the chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 through the minister of finance, budget and national planning.

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Before now, The Guardian reported that 192 million Nigerians have no health insurance in the country.

Confirming this to The Guardian over the weekend in an interview, the Chief Executive Officer of AXA Mansard Health Limited, Tope Adeniyi said only eight million out of 200 million Nigerians have access to health insurance, thereby leaving a deficit of 192 million.

Adeniyi stressed that this means that since 2003, when the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was launched, a significant number of Nigerians still access healthcare from their pockets.

“The industry, since that time, has grown slowly to cover about eight million people; which is still a wide gap given the country’s population of about 200 million.

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Adoption has been growing slowly in the private sector, though not as we expected.

It still needs to improve because it is important for every economy for the citizens to be healthy as good health is key to productivity, “he said.

He noted that when we compared with other countries of similar economies, Nigeria was still falling behind and that Ghana had made above 15 per cent adoption and South Africa about 20 per cent.

He, however, noted that “Nigeria has a huge opportunity to improve health insurance beyond four per cent to almost 70 per cent because there are a huge opportunity and potential for the health insurance adoption in Nigeria.

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